Sunday, 11 December 2016

The Best of Both

The Orgreave Inquiry hoves more and more clearly into view.

Once Theresa May had suggested it, then it was always going to happen eventually. That was why neither Tony Blair nor Gordon Brown ever suggested it.

The same is true of workers' and consumers' representation in corporate governance.

Under May, the Conservatives are now the party of shareholders' control over executive pay, of restraining pay disparities within companies, of an investment-based Industrial Strategy and infrastructure programme, of greatly increased housebuilding, of action against tax avoidance, of banning tax-avoiding companies from public contracts, of capping energy prices (which those in Labour who now oppose the Leader decried as illiterate Marxism when Ed Miliband proposed it), and of banning or greatly restricting foreign takeovers.

She and Philip Hammond might even seek to exercise some level of political control over monetary policy. Thereby restoring, at least in part, one of Attlee's greatest achievements. By undoing one of Blair's and Brown's first and greatest errors.

In all of this, May would, or she already does, deserve every support against much of her own party.

But alas, it is her enemies within who are right, or at least less wrong, about foreign policy.

Consider her close ally, Sir Michael Fallon. At 64, he has never had a job outside politics.

He is the MP for Sevenoaks because he was so bad that Darlington preferred even Alan Milburn instead.

And he spouts repugnant Saudi propaganda that the fake news BBC then repeats as fact.

We can have May's domestic policy, but only at this price in foreign policy.

We can have, under Boris Johnson, a foreign policy that is at least not an absolute moral disgrace, but only at the price of a domestic policy that is.

We can have, under the Labour Party's internal malcontents, a domestic policy even worse than Johnson's, and a foreign policy even worse than May's.

Or we can have a domestic policy far better even than May's, and a foreign policy far better even than Johnson's.

We can have the full strength version of the domestic policy that May has diluted heavily, and we can have the complete version of the foreign policy from which Johnson has picked in order to suit his own purposes.

We can have both the domestic policy and the foreign policy of Jeremy Corbyn.

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